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Laura Seitz, KSL file

Record-high 4,588 more COVID-19 cases, 17 deaths reported Friday in Utah

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Updated - Nov. 20, 2020 at 1:26 p.m. | Posted - Nov. 20, 2020 at 12:54 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's number of COVID-19 cases has increased by 4,588 on Friday, a record-high number in a single day as cases continue to soar ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Seventeen more deaths were also reported, according to the Utah Department of Health.

The health department reported 5,352 COVID-19 cases on Nov. 14, but that total included about 1,300 backdated cases carried over from the day before due to a reporting delay.

The record-high case increase comes a day after Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced recommendations, rather than hard-and-fast mandates, for Thanksgiving gatherings. Herbert said he did not want to introduce any new mandates for what people are allowed to do in their own homes, though state leaders have previously said social gatherings in homes are thought to be a major source of spread in Utah's current COVID-19 surge.

The state now estimates there are 57,455 active cases of the disease in Utah. The rolling seven-day average number of positive cases per day is now at 3,331, according to the health department. The positive test rate per day for that time period is now 23.6%. That seven-day positive test average is down a full percentage point from the 24.6% reported on Monday and has decreased steadily each day this week.

The new numbers indicate a 2.8% increase in positive cases since Thursday. Of the 1,315,034 people tested for COVID-19 in Utah so far, 13.2% have tested positive for the disease. The health department reported an increase of 18,378 tests conducted as of Friday.

There are now 533 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Utah as of Friday, including 182 in intensive care units, state data shows. About 89% of all ICU beds in Utah are occupied, including nearly 94% of ICU beds at Utah's referral hospitals, which are the 16 healthcare facilities that have the capability to provide the best COVID-19 care, according to the health department.

About 57% of non-ICU hospital beds are occupied in Utah Friday, state data shows.

The 17 deaths reported Friday were:

  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Davis County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Weber County man who was over the age of 85 and was a resident of a long-term care facility
  • A Washington County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Utah County man who was over the age of 85 and was not hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Washington County woman who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when she died
  • Two Salt Lake County men who were between the ages of 65 and 84 and were hospitalized when they died
  • A Salt Lake County man who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A San Juan County man who was over the age of 85 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County woman who was between the ages of 25 and 44 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Salt Lake County man who was between the ages of 45 and 64 and was hospitalized when he died
  • A Utah County woman who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when she died
  • A Utah County man who was between the ages of 65 and 84 and was hospitalized when he died

Friday's totals give Utah 170,584 total confirmed cases, with 7,350 total hospitalizations and 773 total deaths from the disease. A total of 112,356 Utah COVID-19 cases are now estimated to be recovered, health department data shows.

There is not a COVID-19 news conference scheduled for Friday. Utah Gov. Gary Herbert provided a COVID-19 update at a news conference Thursday.

Methodology:

Test results now include data from PCR tests and antigen tests. Positive COVID-19 test results are reported to the health department immediately after they are confirmed, but negative test results may not be reported for 24 to 72 hours.

The total number of cases reported by the Utah Department of Health each day includes all cases of COVID-19 since Utah's outbreak began, including those who are currently infected, those who have recovered from the disease, and those who have died.

Recovered cases are defined as anyone who was diagnosed with COVID-19 three or more weeks ago and has not died.

Deaths reported by the state typically occurred two to seven days prior to when they are reported, according to the health department. Some deaths may be from even further back, especially if the person is from Utah but has died in another state.

The health department reports both confirmed and probable COVID-19 case deaths per the case definition outlined by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists. The death counts are subject to change as case investigations are completed.

For deaths that are reported as COVID-19 deaths, the person would not have died if they did not have COVID-19, according to the health department.

Data included in this story primarily reflects the state of Utah as a whole. For more localized data, visit your local health district's website.

Information is from the Utah Department of Health and coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts. For more information on how the Utah Department of Health compiles and reports COVID-19 data, visit coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts and scroll down to the "Data Notes" section at the bottom of the page.

Jacob Klopfenstein

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